Name: ___________________ Hour: _______

The Facts about Ozone


  1. Ozone is made of three oxygen atoms.

  2. Ozone is less stable than diatomic oxygen, so it tries to give up an oxygen atom.

  3. We see ozone as a pale blue gas.

  4. Ozone is described as Dr. Jekyll (stratospheric ozone) or Mr. Hyde (tropospheric ozone). Please note two characteristics of each type of ozone:

Ozone in the stratosphere:
Protects life on earth from uv rays, is considered beneficial because it absorbs uv radiation, etc

Ozone in the troposphere:
Pollutant that damages human health, vegetation, creates smog, etc

Electromagnetic Spectrum

  1. As a review, please write the names of the electromagnetic spectrum from longest to shortest wavelengths:
    Radio, microwave, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray, gamma ray

  2. Ultraviolet radiation splits apart oxygen molecules (remember, 2 oxygens), setting the stage for ozone to be created. A free oxygen atom collides with an oxygen molecule to form an ozone molecule.

Ozone in the Stratosphere

  1. Only ozone blocks the most energetic ultraviolet light, which are UV-C and UV-B.

  2. What would likely not exist today if ozone was not in the upper atmosphere? Life on Earth

  3. Most ozone lies in the stratosphere, which is between 10 and 30 miles above the Earth's surface.

  4. Ozone would keep up a dynamic equilibrium which "shields" life on Earth, if not for humans contributing to the chemical processes.

Ozone in the Troposphere

  1. Ozone is found in small amounts in the troposphere, the layer found from the Earth's surface to 7 miles up. In this region of the atmosphere it is considered a greenhouse gas. As this type of gas, it has a greenhouse/warming effect.

  2. Ozone is also a key ingredient in smog. Yuck!

Concluding Thoughts

  1. What simple saying sums up a lot about ozone in different regions of the atmosphere?
    Good up high and bad near by!

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